The Triumph Dolomite Club - Discussion Forum

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:52 pm
Posts: 1971
Well, its that time of year when slightly dodgy car batteries start to fail.
It seems to be I have the option of Lead Calcium ( £10 extra ) or a standard Lead-acid battery. I done some research on the www. and apart from company self-promotion exercises and just wildly inaccurate posts and the usual hysterical outbursts there is not a lot of technical info; / comparisons out there.
Does any one have any practical experience of Lead-Calcium batteries or know of a good comparison between the two technologies please ?

Thanks very much,

Tony.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:05 pm 
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My advice is to check your charging systems, starter and earth points. Every time I have blamed a dud battery for problems starting it has always turned out to be a worn alternator, broke earth strap, corroded earth or worn starter motor. The most expensive battery in the world won't fix a faulty charging system or starter.

Once your sure that is all in order, I would just get a standard battery. If you want a bit of insurance, get one with a bigger cranking capacity.

To be fair I have found an 015 can pretty much start my Sprint engine after a few cranks as long as the choke is working properly. That is in a car being restored, so it is only turned over occasionally, so I can't see it having a problem with a car that is run regularly.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:13 am 
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Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 5:28 pm
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Location: NANTWICH.
To be honest Tony i have always found the standard battery fine on my Dolly. According to the date date stamp on it, it is over 4 years old and still going strong. It is an 015 but it is always connected to a c-tech charger. Also it is a pig to to start if left for a couple of weeks due to fuel drain back? The one on my 2500S is the same and again with a c-tech on it all the time.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/015-038-Batt ... :rk:2:pf:0

I would replace either battery with one of these if they failed :( Cheap enough and with a four year warranty :D And plenty of good reports :D

Tony.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:36 pm 
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I used to work with batteries for the rail industry and Varta were by far the best in my opinion. Not the cheapest though.
A type 049 will fit a Dolomite if 3 tiny pieces of plastic are removed from it. Many more manufacturers of 049 than the usual 038/015.

James


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Years ago there was a magazine test. That was inconclusive. with the calcium battery expected to last a bit longer, but the equivalent std battery had a little more capacity.

I have been using eurocarparts, but those hankook batteries may well be good value. And despite using a bigger battery in my spitfire, it is probably too big and doesn't cycle enough.

Hmmm.
Not much help I am afraid.

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Clive Senior
Brighton
Driving Toledo fitted with slant 4, sprint OD box and axle. Needs fettling!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:57 am 
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Hi my experience of using calcium batteries in older cars is don't! Stick to lead acid if you can, older cars charging systems can not charge a calcium battery properly if it is low on charge. regards Terry


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:53 pm 
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Tony,
I know nothing of the technology relating to lead/calcium and lead/acid batteries only experience. In the last three years, I have had a total and sudden failure of lead/calcium batteries, fine one minute and totally dead the next and no amount of charging would even get one more start out of them. My local garage confirms there is nothing that will revive them. Lead/acid, on the other hand, deteriorate slowly over a period of time and even very old batteries can often be revived by de-sulphating and other methods. This subject is covered extensively by 'googling'. I once had a lead acid battery which came to me secondhand, age unknown, I then used it for eleven years! Cherish your lead/acid battery is my advice but please tell me where I can buy one as I can find none at all locally.
Graham.
1936 Riley Merlin
1966 Riley Kestrel
1978 1300 Dolomite


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Thank you all for your replies. So Lead-acid it is then.
Halfords have at least one more 038 on the shelf and ready to go as of this morning.
Their fitter was doing good business in the cold weather.
Tony.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:12 pm
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Location: Highley, Shropshire
Quote:
Years ago there was a magazine test. That was inconclusive. with the calcium battery expected to last a bit longer, but the equivalent std battery had a little more capacity.

I have been using eurocarparts, but those hankook batteries may well be good value. And despite using a bigger battery in my spitfire, it is probably too big and doesn't cycle enough.

Hmmm.
Not much help I am afraid.
I'm interested in this theory that too large a battery "doesn't cycle enough" and that this is somehow detrimental to the battery.

Quite early in the Carledo's life, I replaced the original, not very old, 038 battery with a boot mounted 075. The main reason for this was that the 038 seemed unable to crank the Vauxhall engine for any length of time, even when fully charged, half a dozen turns of the engine and cranking speed was noticeably slowing. there isn't and never has been a charging problem as the car is fitted with the Carltons 80 amp alternator and, besides startup, the car's demands on the battery are very small, I don't even have a HRW! I tried a different starter, on the basis that the one fitted might be drawing excessive current, to no avail. I also beefed up the earth leads, which helped only slightly and more in terms of initial cranking speed than duration of cranking available.

So I bit the bullet and did the conversion to a larger, boot mounted battery and the problem went away. Furthermore, the 075, which is a Varta, but wasn't new when I fitted it, is still there 5 years later and has never once failed to start the engine, despite frosts snow, 6 month layups before it was VED free and maintainance of the fuel system which requires considerable cranking to get fuel up to the rail again.

So my question is, is this a real thing or just a theory? I realize one mans experience on one car is not a statistical universe, but my own experience would seem to contradict it!

Steve

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2 door '73 Toledo with Vauxhall Carlton 2.0 8v engine OWF 797M (The Carledo)
'78 Sprint Auto with Vauxhall Omega 2.2 16v engine EGP 247T (The Dolomega)
'91 Cavalier 2ltr 8v auto
'95 Cavalier 2ltr 16v auto
Spectrum Auto Services, Servicing, Repairs, MOT prep. Apprentice served Triumph Specialist for 45 years and home of Maverick Triumph.PM for more info or quotes.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:16 am 
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Hmm, theory I think. The chemistry of batteries is well known and understood, but I know there can be issues with batteries that are left on continuous charge (sulphation on the plate surface IIRC) so a good bit of charge/discharge probably helps prevent this. At the same time seriously discharging a battery is very bad news....

The 038 halfords battery on the toledo is doing well. 5 years, no issues at all. Irregular use (ie left for ages, then thrashed for long journeys etc as well as stints of everyday use around Brighton, not ideal) but of course no other battery really fits without going boot-mounted. I did consider it, but felt there is no real advantage for me.

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Clive Senior
Brighton
Driving Toledo fitted with slant 4, sprint OD box and axle. Needs fettling!


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